I will never forget my first triple header weekend. It was the summer of 2011 and I had just purchased the perfect pair of black wedges with just the right about of height to match my three different dresses I had ready for the weekend. The first day they felt completely normal as I ran around the Naval Academy and photographed portraits on the yard. By the second day, my toes where a little achey until at the end of the third reception… I could barely stand. Little did I know that these shoes would do more damage to my feet in three days… than I had experienced in my entire life.
I’ll spare you the not-so-pretty details, but I ended up with badly bruised toes and within a week I realized that a few of my sweet little nails were going to toe nail heaven. Ugh. Working a wedding for eight to ten hours will take a toll on your feet. Every wedding photographer, event planner, and coordinator talks about the day after a wedding and how the wrong choice in shoes will result in sore feet for days.
Disclaimer: If you’re the type of person that can flawlessly rock heels for eight hours on your feet, disregard this entire blog post. However, if you often feel as though you’ve been hit by a bus the day after a wedding… continue reading. There is a better solution.
Avoid Shoes That:
- Have more than 1.5″ of height (I would avoid heels and wedges all together, unless you only wear them for the ceremony)
- Pinch (are too tight) or shift (are too loose) as these will increase your risk of getting blisters
- Are extremely rigid in the toe region, especially when combined with an incline (See story above. Or don’t… it still makes me cringe!)
- Lack Arch Support and/or have a very thin sole
- Have never been broken in or are severely worn out
Okay, so you’re thinking… “That’s great, Natalie! You’ve now eliminated every pair of shoes that look somewhat cute in my closet.” And I’m so sorry for that. Really, I am. But, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I’ve made and I truly believe that after shooting nearly forty weddings last year and hundreds over the past six, I can finally say I’ve found a few pairs of shoes that I absolutely love.
Five Shoes that I love for Wedding Professionals:
These flexible flats are a staple among my team and were first discovered by the world’s best wedding photography assistant + second shooter, Madison Short! Maddie wore Dexflex Flats all last season and by the end of the year the entire team was considering buying a pair. They come in a variety of colors (I love the nude + black) and are a simpler shoe for wedding professionals who don’t need over the top orthopedic-style support. Oh, and did I mention that most pairs are under $30? Check them out >>
I know what you’re thinking… “Crocs? Those hideous gardening shoes made of, what feels like, recycled packaging peanuts and car tires?” Before you completely give up on me, take a moment to check these shoes out. Crocs have come a long way. These cap toe flats are adorable and I keep hearing incredible things about them from colleagues who own a few different pairs of the croc flats. I ordered a pair of these exact shoes earlier this week and I can’t wait to give them a spin. Check them out >>
I’ve always loved Clarks because they are known for being reliable, classic, and supportive shoes. When I came across these gorgeous flats earlier this year, I just knew that I needed a pair for weddings + engagement sessions. I own a pair of the teal-tipped navy flats, however I’m dying to get the Nude + Gold ones too! At $99 per pair, the Alitay Susan flats are more of an investment than many of the other shoes, however they are really well made and will last a long time. Check them out >>
I love Aerosoles. I seriously do. If you aren’t familiar with these shoes, they generally have a memory-foam insole or footbed and are designed for daily use. These ballet flats are simple and perfect for summer weddings when your feet need to stay cool. Check them out >>
These are the ultimate, classic flat and I love them. I want one in every single color. They have a memory foam insole and breathable arch support that is perfect for a ten or twelve hour wedding day. And they are relatively unexpensive, so it won’t break the bank. If you had to choose one pair, I would recommend these shoes. They are the most versatile and are sure to get a ton of use! Check them out >>
At the start of every year, I order a new pair of shoes. They tend to last one full season until I’ve destroyed them or worn them to the point of obvious neglect.
Over the past six wedding seasons, I’ve gone through more shoes than a DSW on Black Friday.
Everyone is different and I genuinely believe in finding the right pair of shoes for you. Some people need even more support than the shoes listed above, while a few lucky others can get away with wearing wedges and heels. I’m jealous of girls that can rock heels… Unfortunately, I’m not one of them! When it comes to colors, I generally choose black or navy blue because they tend to be the most versatile and show fewer dirt + scuff marks. If you shoot on yachts quite often (like I do), remember to keep a pair of non-marking shoes (like Sperry Topiders) in your car too!
And just a reminder that of the links above are linked with Amazon Associates and any affiliate revenue generated goes to fund the free content that I provide on Tech-Talk Tuesdays. In other words, if you decide to get one of these awesome pairs of shoes, you can support me by buying through the links above.
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